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Espargaro: “First thing I tried was the seamless gearbox"

Espargaro: “First thing I tried was the seamless gearbox'

Having missed the private Suzuki test in November, Aleix Espargaro ends the first day in Sepang ninth.

After a stellar 2015 season, the Suzuki factory has brought a plethora of upgrades for Team Suzuki Ecstar. Aleix Espargaro was eager to get his hands on the new seamless shift gearbox, something that has become a necessity in the MotoGP™ World Championship as of late. In its current form the gearbox only shift upwards seamlessly, but Suzuki are confident they will have a fully seamless gearbox for the Phillip Island test in two weeks time. There’s still fine-tuning to do for Espargaro and the team, but the gearbox alongside the new engine provide a much-needed boost for the GSX-RR. It was not a faultless day for Espargaro who popped an engine on his 2015 bike, fortunately his 2016 machine and hybrid bike remain useable. A 2’02.539 had the Spanish rider ninth overall, 1.855 seconds slower than Jorge Lorenzo.

Aleix Espargaro: “It was a really busy day, but I’m happy I met my team again and we started to work on the new machine. I was happy when I arrived here two days ago because I trained very hard last winter and I know that in Hamamatsu as well they’ve worked very hard, in fact they sent us much new material to try. Today we started our job and tried a couple of things and to me it seems we have a good potential. The first thing I tried was the seamless gearbox, I wanted to try it because in November I couldn’t be here for the accident I had; we still have some work to finalise it, we need to find some fine-tuning in its set-up but the improvement from the standard transmission is very important.

“I also like the engine with the new specs; to me it looks to have gained a good power distributed over all the curve, which is good for the riding feeling. As a matter of fact we verified this feeling lapping without the traction control for many runs and my impression is that this new spec is very positive. Of course here we also had the Michelin tyres, they’ve made a step forward since the ones we tested in Valencia and the feeling with the front has improved a lot. For the next days we still have many things to test, we can still further investigate many regulations and fine tunings, therefore allowing me to be confident about the room for improvement we still have.”

MotoGP, 2016, SEPANG MOTOGP™ OFFICIAL TEST, DAY1, Aleix Espargaro, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, #SepangTest

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